Footballers can play their part

By: Andrew Mwanguhya

Kampala: I tried fronting a case for some footballers who find themselves in awkward situations – largely due to sports administrators’ failings – but KCC and Cranes great Tom Lwanga had another outlook to it.

From our current footballers taking their opportunities for granted – through to hardly taking their career serious, to trading their souls for administrative favours, we deciphered.

“It is one thing an administrator misleading you and it is another for you to accept to be misled,” Lwanga told me then.

“At the end of the day it comes back to you, the individual. If I told you that let’s go and kill, would you follow me? So our footballers should know what is right and wrong.”

The chat at Lugogo emanated from some players not taking their careers seriously, falling to wrong moves abroad in the name of professional football, having multiple agents, picking money from one club and playing for the other… and the list goes on.

Days later, Express legend and former Cranes star Fred Tamale accused our current generation of “lacking passion,” saying during their days, it was your game first and money later. The winger, however, also acknowledged lack of motivation of players as a huge hinderance.

Steven Bogere, another Cranes and Villa legend (look out for his full interview in this weekend’s Saturday Monitor, Score), also believes today’s footballers don’t try enough.

“I think they do not give it their all,” Bogere said of them, “You first work, and then the rest like money come later. It comes back to you as an individual.”

As an individual, Bogere looked up to legendary Philip Omondi and in order to emulate him, he picked on one aspect the former KCC and Cranes star did not boast of. And that was speed.

So the ex-SC Villa midfielder, Bogere, took it upon himself to work on his speed by sprinting over a hill at his Walukuba Village in Jinja every morning at 5.45 before boarding a taxi to Villa Park in Kampala for training with his teammates.

The result of that acquired speed was well experienced by the opponents he left in his wake as well as beneficiary Magid Musisi smiling at the end of his craft.

This was an individual initiative of Bogere’s, not Villa’s or Fufa’s. Lwanga’s take was also clear in saying it all came back to the person of “you” the player, so was Tamale’s.

Of course all this is not said in total ignorance of what our footballers go/are going through. There is hardly money in the local game and wrangles forcing sponsors out added salt to injury.

That, I commiserate with our boys. But they have it in them to fight their own war with the limited available resources. It’s on the pitch that potential suitors will see you. As stands, it seems egos remain the wall separating you and the country from light.

For now, take troubles to the chin and invest in yourself and your game. More time to working on your discipline is surely better than countless hours in the salon.

CITY REMINDED THEY AREN’T IN ELITE LEAGUE

In the build-up to Tuesday night’s Uefa Champions League last 16 tie between Manchester City and Barcelona, the Sky Blues manager Manuel Pellegrini made some telling claims.

Of course headlines would have had any Manchester United fan hold the Chilean in contempt. I mean, City a bigger club than United? You must be kidding.

But Pellegrini does not write headlines. We do. And if you ventured further into the story, you would appreciate his context.

Source: Daily Monitor

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